Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (171)

Barry Cowen

Question:

171. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the Irish Government Economic Evaluation Service will review its demographic projections for public expenditure in view of latest CSO data; if the review will be published and integrated into calculations of the fiscal stance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52098/18]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The demographic projections used to inform medium-term expenditure planning in the context of Budget 2019 are broadly based on the figures set out in the IGEES paper ‘Budgetary Impact of Changing Demographics 2017 – 2027.’ This paper sets out the likely additional costs over the next decade relating to increased demands in the areas of health, education and social protection. While Ireland currently has a relatively young demographic profile in comparison with other countries, as our population gets larger and older in the coming years there will be increased pressure on expenditure and the public finances. The size and structure of the population influences the demand for public services, particularly in the front-line areas mentioned above.

Demographic projections are subject to consideration and updating in light of emerging data. Some demographic allocations were re-examined and updated as part of Spending Review 2018, for example in the area of Primary and Second Level Education.  Work is currently ongoing in selecting topics for Spending Review 2019. While the list of topics has not been finalised, it is likely that demographics will be an element of the Spending Review process.